Gold Coast is a coastal town in Queensland, in eastern Australia, famous for its line of beautiful beaches. With easy connectivity to Brisbane, Gold Coast is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Australia. No wonder then, the city has the highest population among non-capital cities of Australia, and its humble airport is the sixth busiest airport in Australia. Southern Gold Coast offers a laid back atmosphere in comparison to the frenzied fun of Surfer’s Paradise.
Gold Coast Attractions
The attractions at Gold Coast are numerous; they include beaches, hinterlands, and posh precincts.
Beaches: The Gold Coast is lined with numerous beaches- thirty five in all.
Main Beach: This is actually the main surf beach of the town. Pavilion 34, which used to be a bathing pavilion, now serves as a casual cafe serving some appetizing chillo rolls and potato scallops.
Surfer’s Paradise: Surfer’s Paradise alone makes Gold Coast worth a visit. Thanks to its shopping centers, arcades, a beachfront promenade lined with more than a hundred stalls, and above all, some of the best sea-breaks in the world. A long stretch of golden sand is good for a walk or simply to soak up some sun. Surfer’s Paradise has a pulsating nightlife too. An array of nightclubs, restaurants and pubs- all clustered within walkable distance of one another remain open till the wee hours of the morning.
Broadbeach: Broadbeach has really come into its own. Broadbeach offers an experience that is distinctly different from what Surfer’s Paradise has to offer. Broadbeach has beach parks which are ideal for family getaways, weekday morning yoga classes and weekend markets-a great place for a laid-back holiday. Broadbeach also is home to the Pacific Fair mall- one of the largest retail centers in Australia with a mind-boggling three-hundred plus stores. Casual dining, restaurants and casinos-all these are found here too but in balance.
Burleigh Heads: Burleigh sits midway between Surfer’s Paradise and Coolangatta, and is famous for its safe waters that permit swimming as well as surfing.
The Burleigh Heads National Park that borders the Burleigh Beach, has rows of pine trees that turn this place into a favorable picnic and barbeque spot. Local art and craft sellers in the park regularly set up shop here. Oceanfront dining here is famous for fresh sea-food.
Beaches on Southern Gold Coast: The beaches on southern Gold Coast are a refreshing change from Surfer’s Paradise in terms of peace and quiet. Here, decibel levels are decidedly much lower; also the string of beaches on the southern end have some of the best surf-breaks of Australia.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: One of the earliest theme parks on Gold Coast, this park has been drawing visitors for more than sixty years now. Though birds, especially rainbow lorikeets, continue to be the highpoint of the park, several animals like crocodiles, kangaroos, and koalas, are found on this twenty-seven hectare park. Adventure activities like ‘flying fox’ and ‘tarzan swing’ are also available.
Other attractions in Currumbin: Currumbin also has the Currumbin creek estuary. Drive along its banks and into the Currumbin alley- the most dependable surf break in all of Gold Coast. Currumbin also boasts the only museum in Queensland dedicated to surfing-Surf World Gold Coast.
Palm Beach: It has wide spectacular beaches and options for food range from restaurants in million dollar hotels to beach-side shacks.
Kirra Beach: Shaped like a boomerang, after which it has been named, the Kirra Beach provides some world-class surf breaks.
Snapper Rocks: Perhaps the most popular surfing spot, the waters here are home to the Quicksilver Pro Surfing Tour.
Coolangatta Beach: The waters here are clean and great for body surfing. Safe swimming zones are marked, making it a safe spot for family fun.
South Stradbroke island: One of the few places on earth that provides the benefits of isolation in the lap of nature, with the comforts of civilization, the island which is just two hundred meters away from the mainland, boasts an eighteen-hundred hectare conservation conservation park. The park provides for some great wildlife-viewing options. The island provides options to surf, swim, bushwalk, rock-climb and fish-all in the serenity of nature.
Tamborine Mountain: Mount Tamborine is the third oldest national park in the world. It is an entire world up there in the mountain. Guarding what is left of the former Mount Warning volcano, the Tamborine Mountain has thick dense rainforests interspersed with wineries breweries and fantastic restaurants. All of these are connected by twelve walking tracks, each three-kilometer or longer.
Tours are organized here that take visitors through the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk and Glowworm caves.
Springbrook: The Springbrook National Park is a world-heritage listed Gondwana rainforest, and offers some lookout sights that are not to be missed. The twin peaks of Mount Cougal offers views of cascades, wildlife and a restored sawmill. The natural Bridge is a geological wonder. Water gushes downward through an opening in the roof of a basalt cave. Conducted tours are available for this place. Nighttime sees glow-worms and luminous fungi light up the place.
Lamington National Park: This park too is part of the Gondwana rainforests. It has several breath-taking waterfalls and miles of walking trails that take hikers along some great views including views of the Coomera Valley.
Tours: When it comes to tours, visitors are spoiled for choice at Gold Coast. Bus-tours, hot air balloon tours, whale-watching tours, informative day tours, private cruises, jet-boating tours, dinner cruises, Reef Ryder Island Cruise, breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises, oyster farm tours, and sunset safaris, are but a few of the many tour options available here.
Accommodations around Gold Coast
Hotels, mountain villas, hostels-the options are practically limitless. Prices range from twenty six dollars for hostels to three-hundred and above for 5-star hotels. Komune ($26), Coolangatta Sands Backpackers ($27) are some popular hostels. At around $120-$150 per night, you have Mantra Coolangatta Beach, Ocean Plaza Resort, Kirra Vista Holiday Units, and Rainbow Commodore Apartments. At a little less than $100 you have Komune Gold Cost and Golden Shores Motel. As you move higher in the price range, lavish villas become available.
Gold Coast Map
Facts about Gold Coast
- Gold Coast, along with Brisbane, is one of the most desirable places in the world to live. The decision was based on political, social and economic factors.
- Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city. It is larger than two Australian capitals.
- The population of Gold Coast is expected to reach 700,000 by 2021.
- Gold Coast boasts the largest professional life-guard service in Australia. So, beaches here are much safer compared to the rest of the country.
- Gold Coast has 43 miles of unspoilt coastline.
Where is Gold Coast?
Gold Coast is easily accessible from Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. It lies 58 miles to the south of Brisbane. The state of New South Wales borders Gold Coast to the south.
Reach by Air:
The nearest international as well as domestic airport is the Gold Coast airport or the Coolangata airport. The airport is well-connected to all major Australian cities, and receives international flights from New Zealand and a few Asian countries. From there, a cab will take the visitor in around thirty five minutes to Surfer’s Paradise, the most happening spot in all of Gold Coast.
Another option is to fly to the Brisbane Airport. From there, a train takes the passenger to Nerang, a place 8 kilometers to the west of Surfers Paradise. The train ride will take a little longer than an hour.
By Tourist Shuttle:
The Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle provides transportation from the airport to busy hotels and theme parks in Gold Coast.
Transport within Gold Coast:
All major points in the city are accessible by tram, car, bus and cab. Surfside Buslines connect all major tourist points. Access is by Translink GoCards, which makes travel hassle-free with prepaid cards. Self-drive cars are available for hire from several car-rentals, while waiting in line for a taxi can be time-consuming.
Best time to visit Gold Coast
Gold Coast enjoys an amazing three-hundred day summer. Summer runs from December through February, and sees a lot of tourists, especially from mid-December to late January. In February, weather is still sunny and peak-season tourists are leaving. So, it is a great time for those who wish to avoid the crowds. Temperatures range from 68º F to 83º F. Short tropical storms happen mostly in the evenings.
From March to May, weather continues to be pleasantly warm, and rains are more infrequent than in summers. Winters are driest, with average temperatures between 52º F to 70º F. Winters are best for whale-watching.
Gold Coast travel tips
- If a visitor has little time on his hands, then it is a good idea to register for a guided tour organized by one of the several tour companies here.
- However, if time is not a factor, do not miss a walk in the rainforest.
- In case of emergency, to contact police, fire-brigade and ambulance, dial 000 from a fixed line or 112 from a mobile phone.
- Alcohol can be purchased only in hotels and liquor shops, not in supermarkets.
- On roads, follow left-side driving.
- Smoking laws are strict. No smoking is allowed in indoor public places.
- Avoid the glaring Australia sun between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in order to protect your skin. At other times too, use precaution like plenty of sunscreen lotion, long sleeved clothes, hats and shades.
Related: Gold Coast Cities Map
Image credits : Bibzy
PT20150730Published On: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015